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The Naval Officer


These words of John Paul Jones describe the essential virtues of every Naval Officer


John Paul Jones, the quintessential Naval Officer, penned these words describing what he judged to be the virtues he judged essential to every Naval Officer.

John Paul Jones clearly defines the virtues each Naval Officer should possess in order to be “well esteemed” and “obeyed”. These words of wisdom concerning every Naval Officer are as appropriate today as they were when they were written well over 200 years ago. This is an ideal, unique gift for any past, present, or especially future Naval Officer.

Actual Words:
“It is by no means enough that an Officer of the Navy should be a capable Mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more. He should be as well a Gentleman of Liberal Education, Refined Manners, Punctilious Courtesy, and the nicest sense of Personal Honor. He should be the soul of Tact, Patience, Justice, Firmness and Charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a Word of Approval. Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault of any subordinate, though, at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder. In one word, every Commander should keep constantly before him the great truth; That to be well obeyed, he must be perfectly esteemed”.


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